Arnold Arboretum at twilightDoorways to Empathy: Storytelling and the Natural World

Shared experiences create empathy. Using the power of story ~ identification through a shared narrative ~ we discover ways to help audiences travel from an “it” to a “thou” model all the while sourcing our own stories about the natural world. This workshop uses a combination of lecture demonstration and active exercises sure to get everyone participating. This master-class is for teachers, nature workshop educators, naturalists, interpreters and all those who love the natural world.

Diane is a dynamic workshop leader with over twenty years of experience. Her workshop for nature educators: Doorways to Empathy has been presented at the Chewonki Nature Education Center in Maine, at the Interpretive Training Institute and as an intensive at Sharing the Fire: the New England Storytelling Conference.

ArbStr Photo by Pamela Ruby Russell, Nature WorkshopStorytelling in Nature and Science Education

This workshop explores the many ways stories build imaginative bridges to the natural world. Using examples from over twenty years of collecting and creating educational nature tales, Diane focuses on how original and folkloric stories can enhance nature and science presentations. Exercises center on incorporating narrative into factual studies, brainstorming anecdotal nature tales, creating educational tales and enhancing folkloric nature tales from various cultures. Lecture/demonstration, participatory exercises and question and answer time will all be included An extensive bibliography of tellable-tales that link story and scientific facts will be provided.

Join a host of others who have chosen Diane to present on Storytelling in Nature Education for over twenty years. Mass Audubon Society, Mass. Environmental Educators Conference, Appalachian Mountain Club, Interpretive Training Institute, Boston Harbor Conference, the Mass. Institute for Teaching Science, Conference on Bio- Diversity, Arnold Arboretum, Project for Excellence in Teaching Science and the New England Science Center. She has led professional development workshops for teachers in how to use storytelling to enhance classroom presentations for over twenty years.

cherryStories for an Earth Ethic:  Storytelling in Environmental Education

Through all cultures and all epochs, storytelling has been used as a means of transmitting values and ethics to the young. This workshop will give environmental educators many stories and storytelling exercises they can use to reconnect children with the feelings behind the facts that can lead to an earth ethic. Using humor and heart we will identify problem areas and blind spots and drawing from contemporary authors, created tales and folktales find specific stories to address these concerns.

Your workshop for our Global & Environmental Awareness Festival was a big success. The participants mentioned that they gained so much, not only from your original story, “What Now, Cloacina!” but also in terms of using your Bibliography of Nature Stories which illustrate important concepts in Environmental awareness

– Gail Herman Ph.D Festival Organizer and Enrichment Consultant

Storytelling Magazine recognized Diane in their article “Green Grow the Stories” as a leader in finding innovative ways to link storytelling and nature.  Her original story “What Now, Cloacina?!!” published in the collection Spinning Tales Weaving Hope teaches water conservation and has been published in story collections in England, Canada and the U.S. She has developed over fifteen original storytelling performances that celebrate nature and the environment.